The countdown is on! Just 100 days until the tip off of the 44th Annual Culligan City of Palms Classic at the new Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW). Top boys high school basketball teams from across the U.S. will descend upon Fort Myers for six days of great basketball.
The elite teams that will come together for this southwest Florida holiday tradition include: Brentwood Academy (Nashville, Tenn.), Division II Class AA Tennessee state champion; Mae Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.), Class 5A Alabama state champion; Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.), Class AAA Tennessee state champion; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), Class 3A Pennsylvania state champion; Pace Academy (Atlanta), Class AA Georgia state champion; and Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), Dick’s Nationals runner-up.
Additionally, 10 of the top 25 seniors in the nation will be participating in this year’s event, including: ESPN #1 player in the Class of 2017, DeAndre Ayton (Hillcrest Prep, Ariz.); ESPN #3 player in the Class of 2017, Wendell Carter (Pace Academy, Ga.); ESPN # 4 player in the class of 2017, Mohamed Bamba (Westtown School, Penn.); and ESPN #7 player in the Class of 2017, Kevin Knox (Tampa Catholic, Fla.).
Culligan returns for its fourth year as Title Sponsor, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car is Presenting Sponsor for the third year.
Tickets for the tournament are now on sale. Several ticket options are available, including:
• The 6-day Preferred Ticket Package. A single-seat six-day ticket package for $250 plus a $20 processing fee (3rd party ticket vendor fee) with seating in the first two rows directly behind the team benches and scorer’s table (west side of the arena) or the opposite second row (east side).
• The 6-day Reserved Ticket Package. A single-seat six-day ticket package for $128 plus a $9 processing fee (3rd party ticket vendor fee) for the remaining courtside seating (east and west sides of the arena).
• VIP Parking. A six-day Reserved Parking Pass for $40 plus a $3 processing fee (3rd party ticket vendor fee).
For more information and to purchase tickets, call the box office Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at (800) 440-7469 or (239) 481-4849.
The lineup of the teams scheduled to play in this year’s tournament and other tournament information will be available in the days ahead at: www.cityofpalmsclassic.com. No fees are collected from players and teams, and Classic Basketball Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation that acts as a foundation for the tournament, covers all expenses for the players. For many of the players, the tournament represents their first opportunity to travel outside their own city.
One hundred thirty-five Culligan City of Palms Classic players have been named McDonald’s All-Americans and 116 have been drafted by the NBA, including 71 first-round picks. Fifty-one are current NBA stars and 120 are current NCAA Power 7 conference stars. Sixty-seven players participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including 23 that made it to the Sweet 16.
About the Culligan City of Palms Classic
Founded in 1973, the City of Palms tournament began, like so many tournaments today, as a simple, local, holiday basketball tournament. Over the years, the tournament grew and expanded its scope to include the nation’s finest athletes and teams, and over the past 22 years, has set the standard by which all tournaments are compared. Classic Basketball Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation created for the purpose of managing the Culligan City of Palms Classic. For more information and to sign up for the eNewsletter, visit cityofpalmsclassic.com.